nep-ban New Economics Papers
on Banking
Issue of 2019‒12‒02
23 papers chosen by
Christian Calmès, Université du Québec en Outaouais

  1. Nonbanks, Banks, and Monetary Policy: U.S. Loan-Level Evidence since the 1990s By David Elliott; Ralf R. Meisenzahl; José-Luis Peydró; Bryce C. Turner
  2. The Impact of Bank Capital and Institutional Quality on Lending: Empirical Evidence from the MENA Region By Maya El Hourani; Gérard Mondello
  3. Do Local Bank Branches Reduce SME Credit Constraints? Evidence from Public-Private Bank Interaction By Gustafsson, Anders; Manduchi, Agostino; Stephan, Andreas
  4. Should the CCYB be enhanced with a sectoral dimension? The case of Italy By Roberta Fiori; Claudia Pacella
  5. How do we choose to pay using evolving retail payment technologies? Some additional results from Japan By Hiroshi FUJIKI
  6. Nonbank Lending By Sergey Chernenko; Isil Erel; Robert Prilmeier
  7. Negative monetary policy rates and systemic banks’ risk-taking: Evidence from the Euro area securities register By Johannes Bubeck; Angela Maddaloni; José-Luis Peydró
  8. Innovations in emerging markets: the case of mobile money By Pelletier, Adeline; Khavul, Susanna; Estrin, Saul
  9. The Effect of U.S. Stress Tests on Monetary Policy Spillovers to Emerging Markets By Emily Liu; Friederike Niepmann; Tim Schmidt-Eisenlohr
  10. A profit elasticity approach to measure banking competition in Italian credit markets By Michele Benvenuti; Silvia Del Prete
  11. As long as the bank gains: expanding the retail distribution activity By Danilo Liberati; Francesco Vercelli
  12. What do almost 20 years of micro data and two crises say about the relationship between central bank and interbank market liquidity? Evidence from Italy By Massimiliano Affinito
  13. Negative Monetary Policy Rates and Systemic Banks’ Risk-Taking: Evidence from the Euro Area Securities Register By Johannes Bubeck; Angela Maddaloni; José-Luis Peydró
  14. Unintended side effects: stress tests, entrepreneurship, and innovation By Sebastian Doerr
  15. Cards on the table: efficiency and welfare effects of the no-surcharge rule By Henriques, David
  16. The fire-sale channels of universal banks in the European sovereign debt crisis By Bagattini, Giulio; Fecht, Falko; Weber, Patrick
  17. Drivers of bank loan growth in China: government or market? By Xiaohong Chen; Paul Wohlfarth
  18. Challenges in Implementing the Credit Guarantee Scheme for Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises: The Case of Viet Nam By Dang, Le Ngoc; Chuc, Anh Tu
  19. Bank credit, liquidity and firm-level investment: are recessions different? By Ines Buono; Sara Formai
  20. Optimally solving banks' legacy problems By Anatoli Segura; Javier Suarez
  21. Office Market Interconnectedness and Systemic Risk Exposure By Roland Füss; Daniel Ruf
  22. Adverse Selection and Credit Certificates: Evidence from a P2P Platform By Hu, Maggie Rong; Li, Xiaoyang; Shi, Yang
  23. Interconnected Banks and Systemically Important Exposures By Alan Roncoroni; Stefano Battiston; Marco D’Errico; Grzegorz Halaj; Christoffer Kok

  1. By: David Elliott; Ralf R. Meisenzahl; José-Luis Peydró; Bryce C. Turner
    Abstract: We show that credit supply effects and associated real effects of monetary policy depend on the size of nonbank presence in the respective lending market. Nonbank presence also alters how monetary policy affects the distribution of risk. For identification, we use exhaustive loan-level data since the 1990s and Gertler-Karadi (2015) monetary policy shocks. First, different from the literature showing that low monetary policy rates increase credit supply and risk-taking by banks, we find that higher monetary policy rates shifts credit supply for corporates, mortgages, and consumers shifts from regulated banks to less regulated, more fragile nonbanks. Moreover, this shift is more pronounced for ex-ante riskier borrowers. Second, nonbanks reduce the effectiveness of the bank lending channel of monetary policy at the loan-level. However, this reduction varies substantially across lending markets. Total credit and real effects are largely neutralized in consumer loans and the associated consumption, but not in corporate loans and investment.
    Keywords: negative rates, non-standard monetary policy, reach-for-yield, securities, banks
    JEL: E51 E52 G21 G23 G28
    Date: 2019–11
  2. By: Maya El Hourani (Université Côte d'Azur, France; GREDEG CNRS); Gérard Mondello (Université Côte d'Azur, France; GREDEG CNRS)
    Abstract: This paper aims to investigate the influence of bank capitalization and institutional quality on the lending activity of commercial banks in the MENA region over the period from 2000 to 2016. By applying the fixed effect panel data estimator, we find that, commercial bank lending depends on bank-specific variables, macroeconomic variables and the institutional environment. Our results show that any increase in bank capitalization and the implementation of capital regulation (Basel II and Basel III) have negative impacts on the credit supply. We find, also, that political stability and good regulatory quality encourage foreign, domestic and private banks to improve their credit supply. However, commercial banks tend to behave cautiously when there is increasing government effectiveness and financial freedom.
    Keywords: Bank capital, institutional quality, credit supply, MENA region
    Date: 2019–11
  3. By: Gustafsson, Anders (Research Institute of Industrial Economics (IFN)); Manduchi, Agostino (Jönköping International Business School); Stephan, Andreas (Jönköping International Business School)
    Abstract: In the past few decades, commercial banks have substantially reduced the number of their branch offices. We address the question of whether or not the increased distance from the lenders correspondingly faced by many small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) translates into a lower volume of loans. We use a unique dataset on loans from a state owned Swedish bank designed to support credit-constrained SMEs and interact their loan portfolio with the number of nearby commercial bank offices at the firm level along with an IV strategy to account for endogeneity. The estimation results strongly indicate that a larger number of local bank offices increases the local credit supply, and decreases the credit constraints of nearby SMEs.
    Keywords: Credit constraints; Relationship banking; State owned bank; Small business
    JEL: G28 H81 L26 L52 O38
    Date: 2019–11–20
  4. By: Roberta Fiori (Bank of Italy); Claudia Pacella (Bank of Italy)
    Abstract: The paper investigates whether there is sufficient empirical support in Italy for the introduction of a sectoral countercyclical capital buffer (CCyB) in the macroprudential framework. We study the sectoral decomposition of the credit-to-GDP gap over the period 1990Q1-2017Q2. Overall, our results suggests that a sectoral CCyB could be a useful addition to the macroprudential framework as both the timing for activation and the size of the capital buffer can differ when accounting for the sectoral dimension of the credit-to-GDP gap. We find that the synchronicity of sectoral credit cycles decreases as we move from a two-sector to a six-sector decomposition. Moreover, the contribution of sectoral cycles to systemic stress, as measured by the system-wide new bad debt rate, as well as the prudential requirements associated with their risk exposure differ quite significantly. While exuberance in the non-real-estate related segment of corporate lending is usually followed by a surge in systemic stress, exuberance in the real-estate related segment of business lending does not.
    Keywords: credit cycle, sectoral decomposition, synchronicity, cyclical systemic risk
    JEL: E32 G01 G21 G28
    Date: 2019–06
  5. By: Hiroshi FUJIKI
    Abstract: Using Japanese individual household datasets, we obtain the following results that are consistent with findings in most advanced economies. For our first set of findings, persons using electronic money (contactless prepaid cards available in Japan after 2001) for day-to-day transaction values of less than 5,000 yen have lower cash holdings than cash users. Second, the average cash holdings of credit card users for both day-to-day and regular payments are less than that of cash users for day-to-day payments not using credit cards for regular payments. Our second set of findings contributes to the related literature in at least two respects. First, we combine the choice of payment methods for both day-to-day and regular payments. Second, we pay due attention to institutional details about the use of credit cards in Japan and propose unique identifying assumptions excluding those persons using credit cards for day-to-day transactions but not regular payments, and those using cash for day-to-day transactions but credit cards for regular payments.
    Date: 2019–05
  6. By: Sergey Chernenko; Isil Erel; Robert Prilmeier
    Abstract: We provide novel systematic evidence on the extent and terms of direct lending by nonbank financial institutions, and explore whether banks are still special in lending to informationally opaque firms. Analyzing hand-collected data for a random sample of publicly-traded middle-market firms during the 2010-2015 period, we show that nonbank lending is widespread, with 32% of all loans being extended by nonbanks. Nonbank borrowers are less profitable, more levered, and more volatile than bank borrowers. Firms with a small negative EBITDA are 34% more likely to borrow from a nonbank than firms with a small positive EBITDA. While nonbank lenders are less likely to monitor by including financial covenants, they are more likely to align incentives through the use of warrants. Controlling for firm and loan characteristics, nonbank loans carry 190 basis points higher interest rates. Overall, our results provide evidence of market segmentation in the commercial loan market, where bank and nonbank lenders utilize different lending techniques and cater to different types of borrowers.
    JEL: G21 G23 G30 G32
    Date: 2019–11
  7. By: Johannes Bubeck; Angela Maddaloni; José-Luis Peydró
    Abstract: We exploit the ECB’s negative interest rate policy (NIRP) and administrative data from Italy, severely hit by the Eurozone crisis, to study the transmission of NIRP to the economy through the banking system. NIRP has expansionary effects on credit supply—and hence the real economy— through a portfolio rebalancing channel. By contrast, there is no evidence of a retail deposits channel. NIRP affects banks with higher ex-ante net short-term interbank positions or, more broadly, more liquid balance-sheets. NIRP-affected banks rebalance their portfolios from liquid assets to credit—especially to riskier and smaller firms—and cut loan rates, inducing sizable real effects. By shifting the entire yield curve downward, NIRP differs from rate cuts just above the ZLB.
    Keywords: Negative rates, non-standard monetary policy, reach-for-yield, securities, banks
    JEL: E43 E52 E58 G01 G21
    Date: 2019–03
  8. By: Pelletier, Adeline; Khavul, Susanna; Estrin, Saul
    Abstract: Mobile money is a financial innovation that provides transfers, payments, and other financial services at a low or zero cost to individuals in developing countries where banking and capital markets are deficient and financial inclusion is low. We use transaction costs and institutional theories to explain the growth and impact of mobile money. Having developed a new archival dataset that tracks mobile money deployment across 90 emerging economies during 16 years between 2000 and 2015, we address the question of relative economic impact of the banking and telecoms sectors in the provision of mobile money. We show that telecom groups and not banks are more likely to launch mobile money in countries where legal rights are weaker and credit information less prevalent. However, it is when mobile money is offered via a banking channel that the spillover effects on the economy are greater. Findings have significant implications for policy and strategy.
    JEL: G21 M13 O33
    Date: 2019–09–09
  9. By: Emily Liu; Friederike Niepmann; Tim Schmidt-Eisenlohr
    Abstract: This paper shows that monetary policy and prudential policies interact. U.S. banks issue more commercial and industrial loans to emerging market borrowers when U.S. monetary policy eases. The effect is less pronounced for banks that are more constrained through the U.S. bank stress tests, reflected in a lower minimum capital ratio in the severely adverse scenario. This suggests that monetary policy spillovers depend on banks’ capital constraints. In particular, during a period of quantitative easing when liquidity is abundant, banks are more flexible, and the scope for adjusting lending is larger when they have a bigger capital buffer. We conjecture that bank lending to emerging markets during the zero-lower bound period would have been even higher had the United States not introduced stress tests for their banks.
    Keywords: U.S. bank lending ; Stress tests ; Emerging markets ; Monetary policy spillovers
    JEL: E44 F31 G15 G21 G23
    Date: 2019–11–22
  10. By: Michele Benvenuti (Bank of Italy); Silvia Del Prete (Bank of Italy)
    Abstract: As in other industries, competition in banking is potentially beneficial to efficiency and social welfare. Unfortunately, the task of measuring such competition is not straightforward: according to the empirical literature, traditional metrics to measure competition may fail because they do not correctly account for entry barriers, product substitutability, or the concentration and reallocation of market shares among banks. In this study we explore new measurements of competition, based on the Profit Elasticity, which can limit previous drawbacks, in order to assess the significant changes in the Italian banking market over the last two decades (1994-2013), when the most serious crisis occurred. We focus on competition dynamics over time, across bank clusters and geographical areas. Our main findings suggest that deregulation and M&A activity increased the extent of competition, while the financial turmoil reduced it, in line with other international evidence. Moreover, mutual banks faced relatively less competitive local markets, mostly owing to the informational barriers that they can impose on non-local intermediaries, and banking competition is heterogeneous across Italian macro-regions.
    Keywords: banking competition, financial crisis, local credit markets
    JEL: G21 L16 R11
    Date: 2019–10
  11. By: Danilo Liberati (Bank of Italy); Francesco Vercelli (Bank of Italy)
    Abstract: We investigate the retail distribution of financial products by the Italian banking system between 2010 and 2017. We focus on mutual fund shares, insurance contracts and individually managed portfolios, analysing the characteristics of the banks that distribute these instruments the most and the contribution of each product to bank profitability. We find that banks with larger amounts of bad loans relative to equity distribute more asset management instruments, an activity that does not absorb equity. When liquidity constraints are less binding, banks that are financed more through deposits increase their distribution activity. Moreover, banks with stronger lending specialization are less involved in distributing financial products. Finally, fees from the distribution of individually managed portfolios contribute to bank profitability more than those from the distribution of mutual fund shares.
    Keywords: Banks, Distribution fees, Non-interest income
    JEL: D14 G21
    Date: 2019–10
  12. By: Massimiliano Affinito (Bank of Italy)
    Abstract: This paper studies the mutual interplay between central bank (CB) liquidity provisions and interbank markets (IM) liquidity exchanges exploring whether the relationship changes during IM impairments and CB massive liquidity injections in the global and sovereign crises. The analysis leverages on a dataset containing seventeen years of monthly bank-by-bank and counterparty-by-counterparty data from 1998 to 2015 in Italy. The results show the existence of a complementarity relationship. Banks receiving CB liquidity redistribute more to other banks. When CB liquidity increases exponentially in the crises some healthy banks specialize in interbank lending. The complementarity relationship helps to offset the euro-area fragmentation via domestic interbank relationships and to adjust collateral and maturity profiles of banks’ liquidity.
    Keywords: liquidity, financial and sovereign crises, central bank intervention, interbank
    JEL: G21 E52 C30
    Date: 2019–10
  13. By: Johannes Bubeck; Angela Maddaloni; José-Luis Peydró
    Abstract: We show that negative monetary policy rates induce systemic banks to reach-for-yield. For identification, we exploit the introduction of negative deposit rates by the European Central Bank in June 2014 and a novel securities register for the 26 largest euro area banking groups. Banks with more customer deposits are negatively affected by negative rates, as they do not pass negative rates to retail customers, in turn investing more in securities, especially in those yielding higher returns. Effects are stronger for less capitalized banks, private sector (financial and non-financial) securities and dollar-denominated securities. Affected banks also take higher risk in loans.
    Keywords: negative rates, non-standard monetary policy, reach-for-yield, securities, banks
    JEL: E43 E52 E58 G01 G21
    Date: 2019–11
  14. By: Sebastian Doerr
    Abstract: Post-crisis stress tests have helped to enhance financial stability and to reduce banks' risk-taking. In order to quantify their overall impact, regulators have turned to evaluating the effects of stress tests on financing and the real economy. Using the U.S. as a laboratory, this paper shows that stress tests have had potentially unintended side effects on entrepreneurship and innovation at young firms. Banks subject to stress tests have strongly cut small business loans secured by home equity, an important source of financing for entrepreneurs. Lower credit supply has led to a relative decline in entrepreneurship during the recovery in counties with higher exposure to stress tested banks. The decline has been steeper in sectors with a higher share of young firms using home equity financing, i.e. where the reduction in credit hit hardest. Counties with higher exposure have also seen a decline in patent applications by young firms. I provide suggestive evidence that the decline in credit has negatively affected labor productivity, reflecting young firms' disproportionate contribution to growth. My results do not imply that stress tests reduce welfare, but highlight a possible trade-off between financial stability and economic dynamism. The effects of stress tests on entrepreneurship should be taken into account when evaluating their effectiveness.
    Keywords: stress tests, small business lending, entrepreneurship, innovation, productivity slowdown
    JEL: G20 G21 L26
    Date: 2019–11
  15. By: Henriques, David
    Abstract: In Electronic Payment Networks (EPNs), the No-Surcharge Rule (NSR) requires that merchants charge at most the same amount for a payment card transaction as for cash. In this paper, I use a three-party model (consumers, local monopolistic merchants, and a proprietary EPN) with endogenous transaction volumes, heterogeneous card use benefits for merchants and network externalities of card-accepting merchants on cardholders to assess the efficiency and welfare effects of the NSR. I show that the NSR: (i) promotes retail price efficiency for cardholders, and (ii) inefficiently reduces card acceptance among merchants. The NSR can enhance social welfare and improve payment efficiency by shifting output from cash payers to cardholders. However, if network externalities are sufficiently strong, the reduction of card payment acceptance affects cardholders negatively and, with the exception of the EPN, all agents will be worse off under the NSR. This paper also suggests that the NSR may be an instrument to decrease cash usage, but the social optimal policy on the NSR may depend on the competitive conditions in each market.
    Keywords: competition; electronic payment networks; market power; net-work externalities; no-surcharge rule; regulation; two-sided markets
    JEL: G21 L14 L42
    Date: 2018–11–01
  16. By: Bagattini, Giulio; Fecht, Falko; Weber, Patrick
    Abstract: We use a unique security-level data set to analyze correlations in bond trading of banks, their respective retail customers and their affiliated mutual funds. Matching banks' proprietary holdings with the holdings of their funds and their retail customers for the period 2009-2016 at the security level, we find evidence that banks sold off risky euro-area sovereign bonds to both their retail customers and their affiliated mutual funds (particularly their public funds) during the European sovereign debt crisis. Overall, this enabled banks with affiliated mutual funds to sell off larger amounts of their risky sovereign bond holdings, while bank-affiliated mutual funds acquired more risky sovereign bonds compared to their unaffiliated peers. The larger the risky sovereign bond position a fund acquired from its parent bank, the lower are the fund's short-term raw returns controlling for the risky bonds the fund overall acquired. Our findings show that banks use their customers portfolio and their affiliated funds as liquidity provider when they sell off their risk bonds without paying the funds the adequate liquidity premium. On the one hand, this points to a severe conflict of interest between banks' own account trading and their asset and wealth management services. On the other hand, it highlights that the severity of fire-sale contagion depends on the organizational structure of the financial sector.
    Keywords: fire sales,sovereign bonds,own account trading,bankaffiliated mutual funds,conflict of interest
    JEL: G01 G21 G23
    Date: 2019
  17. By: Xiaohong Chen (Birkbeck, University of London); Paul Wohlfarth (Birkbeck, University of London)
    Abstract: This paper investigates China’s banking system in a post-crisis environment, 2008- 2018, focusing on determinants of bank lending. We use a panel of 14 Chinese listed banks, for which there is data over this period. We group these 14 banks into various bank-clusters, classified by ownership and systemic importance. Possible determinants of loan growth are divided into two sets of variables: bureaucratic variables and economic variables. We find that for individual banks and bank groups bureaucratic variables are very significant and the economic variables have comparatively little influence, which is consistent with the state retraining quite a lot of control. However, pooling of the data gives evidence for the influence of economic variables. The size of the coefficients is similar to the average of the individual banks but they are now significant, reflecting the larger sample size. Thus the pooled estimates are more supportive of the role of bankspecific market forces in determining loan growth.
    Keywords: Loan growth, Listed banks, Bureaucratic effects, Market effects, China
    JEL: E51 P34 C32
    Date: 2019–11
  18. By: Dang, Le Ngoc (Asian Development Bank Institute); Chuc, Anh Tu (Asian Development Bank Institute)
    Abstract: Access to credit is still one of the greatest obstacles to the growth of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in Viet Nam. To date, only 39% of SMEs have bank loans. To cater to SMEs’ need for financial sources, especially formal sources such as the banking system, the Vietnamese government has implemented a large number of supporting programs, including the credit guarantee scheme (CGS) for SMEs, which it established in 2001. Through collecting, synthesizing, and analyzing data, we aim to study the challenges involved in implementing CGSs for SMEs as well as the causes of their poor performance. The fundamental reasons we find include the strict and impractical conditions for issuing credit guaranteed loans; the lack of adequate professional competence of staff involved in the credit guaranteeing task; the fragmented relationship between the credit institution and the CGS; and the lack of a credit database platform that facilitates access to finance for SMEs by providing comprehensive and reliable creditworthiness.
    Keywords: credit for SMEs; Vietnamese business environment; SMEs in Viet Nam
    JEL: E51 G23 G28 H81
    Date: 2019–04–08
  19. By: Ines Buono (Bank of Italy); Sara Formai (Bank of Italy)
    Abstract: How do bank credit supply shocks affect firms' investment decisions? We use time-varying data on Italian firms and banks to disentangle shocks to the credit supply using bank mergers and acquisitions as an instrumental variable. We find that credit constraints can hamper the ability of firms to invest. Moreover, while firms normally tend to use liquidity as a substitute for bank credit, they do not do so during recessions, a fact that amplifies the cutback on productive investment following a bank credit supply shock.
    Keywords: Corporate investments, financing constraints, Mergers and Acquisitions
    JEL: G01 G31 G32
    Date: 2019–10
  20. By: Anatoli Segura (Banca d’Italia); Javier Suarez (Center for Monetary and Financial Studies (Cemfi))
    Abstract: We characterize policy interventions directed to minimize the cost to the deposit guarantee scheme and the taxpayers of banks with legacy problems. Non-performing loans (NPLs) with low and risky returns create a debt overhang that induces bank owners to forego profitable lending opportunities. NPL disposal requirements can restore the incentives to undertake new lending but, as they force bank owners to absorb losses, can also make them prefer the bank being resolved. For severe legacy problems, combining NPL disposal requirements with positive transfers is optimal and involves no conflict between minimizing the cost to the authority and maximizing overall surplus.
    Keywords: non performing loans, deposit insurance, debt overhang, optimal intervention, state aid.
    JEL: G01 G20 G28
    Date: 2019–06
  21. By: Roland Füss; Daniel Ruf
    Abstract: This paper empirically studies how systemic risk in the banking sector affects return co-movements among financial center office markets. We compute an aggregated measure of systemic risk in financial centers that is related to the expected capital shortfall of financial institutions. The empirical results show that office market interconnectedness arises from systemic banking risk during financial turmoil periods. Our identification strategy is based on a double counterfactual approach. We find no evidence of return co-movements during normal times and among the counterfactual retail markets. The decline in office market returns during financial turmoil is larger in financial centers compared to non-financial centers. Our findings demonstrate how correlated risk among seemingly uncorrelated assets emerges in times when risk diversification is most needed.
    Keywords: Commercial real estate, cross-sectional dependence, financial center, spatial econometrics, systemic risk
    JEL: G15 R30
    Date: 2018–04
  22. By: Hu, Maggie Rong (Asian Development Bank Institute); Li, Xiaoyang (Asian Development Bank Institute); Shi, Yang (Asian Development Bank Institute)
    Abstract: Certificates are widely used as a signaling mechanism to mitigate adverse selection when information is asymmetric. To reduce information asymmetry between lenders and borrowers, Chinese peer-to-peer (P2P) lending platforms encourage borrowers to obtain various kinds of credit certificates. As P2P markets continue to develop, it is plausible that certification may play a pivotal role in ensuring investment efficiency. We perform the first empirical investigation of this issue, using unique data from Renrendai, one of the People’s Republic of China’s largest P2P lending platforms. We find that surprisingly, loans with more credit certificates experience a higher rate of delinquency and default. However, lenders remain attracted by higher certificates despite lower loan performance ex post, which results in distorted capital allocation and reduced investment inefficiency. Overall, we document a setting where credit certificates fail to serve as an accurate signal due to their costless nature, where poor-quality borrowers use more certificates to boost their credit profiles and improve their funding success. Possible explanations for this phenomenon include differences in marginal benefit of certificates for different borrower types, bounded rationality, cognitive simplification, and borrower myopia.
    Keywords: P2P lending; credit allocation; adverse selection; certificate; bounded rationality; cognitive simplification
    JEL: G10 G20 G21 G23
    Date: 2019–04–11
  23. By: Alan Roncoroni; Stefano Battiston; Marco D’Errico; Grzegorz Halaj; Christoffer Kok
    Abstract: How do banks' interconnections in the euro area contribute to the vulnerability of the banking system? We study both the direct interconnections (banks lend to each other) and the indirect interconnections (banks are exposed to similar sectors of the economy). These complex linkages make the banking system more vulnerable to contagion risks. We use a unique supervisory dataset of the European Central Bank with the 26 largest banks in the euro area. Introducing a new measure of indirect interconnections, we assess to what extent banks are significantly exposed to devaluation risk of commonly held assets. We find that for small shocks, banks that operate in multiple countries make the banking system more resilient. But for large shocks, international diversification makes the banking system less resilient. While contagion risk is usually ignored in supervisory stress tests, it can have significant impacts on banks' solvency and should influence how supervisors design regulations. However, we find there is no one-size-fits-all solution: the optimal financial architecture depends on the shocks considered and the international diversification.
    Keywords: Financial stability
    JEL: C63 G G1 G15 G2 G21
    Date: 2019–11

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